CWU and Royal Mail pensions: “I’d rather smash it to bits” says union boss.

By Dan Wilson September 17, 2017 - 10:23 pm

Tensions and tempers continue to run high in the ongoing CWU and Royal Mail pensions dispute as wrangles continue to rumble on. The CWU has served notice that it is seeking a ballot of members specifically considering industrial action from posties in the run-up to Christmas. And such action, needless to say, would be highly disruptive to deliveries in that key peak ecommerce period.

According to The Sun, Deputy General secretary of the CWU Terry Pullinger has said: “We’re going to fight. Every postal worker I’ve ever known built this industry. I’d rather smash it to bits than hand it over to them, to stuff their mouths with gold and make your lives a misery.”

(The Tamebay political yin/yang works along lines that you’re doubtless familiar with. I’m the Labour leaning, hand wringing, Guardian reading, liberal EU remainer and Chris broadly more towards the Tories – although that is a very simplistic precis of our political positions and, believe me, our discussions on that have been very wide-ranging over the past 15 or so years we’ve known each other.)

And that’s why there’s no compunction from Tamebay united in saying these reported remarks are profoundly worrying. There is no suggestion that unions should not stand up for their members and demand the best treatment possible. One part of the deal when you work at somewhere like Royal Mail is that gold-plated pension. So it’s entirely right that union bosses are robust in such negotiations. But it is a little concerning that this particular dispute does now seem to have moved beyond well beyond the CWU and Royal Mail pensions dispute and indeed is revisiting the privatisation question and has become distressingly destructive.

Clearly we have a situation where an unstoppable force is going to slam against an immovable object. This doesn’t bode well for marketplace sellers so it’s well worth exploring alternatives for what do seem like inevitable strikes.

In any case, if you want to hear more from from Pullinger (in general and not including the quote above), here’s a video he published on Facebook on Sunday laying out his views:

  • Andy R
    4 years ago

    See the reports in the FT and elsewhere about the Unions striking over Royal Mail pension changes, whilst the CWU is proposing to do the same to its own employees!

    Rank hypocrisy. Amazed the media haven’t picked this up more prominently.

    If strikes come, , bulk customers will walk. Mail centres will close and jobs will be lost.

    Posties should realise they are sawing off the branch they are all sitting on.

    All so that their union bosses (who won’t lose any pay or pensions) can flex their muscles and try to renact the winter of discontent.

    • Simon Last
      4 years ago

      What about royal mails 13 years pensions holiday, the workers have been CHEATED

  • 4 years ago

    I have a good friend high up in RM, chatting a few weeks ago they acknowledged their biggest customers had already made alternative arrangements for this winter, do as usual the main loser will be the everyday man on the street, who will I guess have little sympathy with a local striking postie. My opinion for what it’s worth with all this current austerity related tension is to have an election and let all the young & left have a good dose of what a Corbyn / hard left militant government would really give them; its cyclical and every now and then part of the populous it seems needs reminded how good (sic) Labour are at running the country. Inflation at 15 -20% and interest rates following a similar course, a few million proud champagne socialists homeless as they suddenly realize they aren’t quite as well off as they’d like to believe they are and can no longer afford their mortgages, teach them a lesson in simple economics they would remember for a few years.

  • Michael
    4 years ago

    This ‘man’ shares the voice of the British Labour Party and bankrolls Jeremy Corbyn and his cohor, Just DON’T imagine a Great Britain reduced to rubble by this rabble again. A misguided electorate did this not so long ago and we had to call in the IMF circa 1976 to bail us out.
    As the Daleks would say: Exterminate Exterminate Exterminate

  • Jason
    4 years ago

    I work for RM and am facing a 50% cut to my pension as well as start and finish times being moved several hours later. Are we just supposed to accept this without a fight, while RM are paying out millions in dividends to the share holders who have no long term interest in the business! Nobody wants to take industrial action, RM was built on the back of our labour but we must fight to protect our T&C’s. RM announced record profits this year, over £700 million yet claim there is no money for us on the frontline, and Michael, the Labour Party was born out of the trade union movement, and is of course affiliated to the Labour Party who is the party of the working class. Is this page just full of tory idiots??

    Terry Pullinger does not want to destroy the company, why would he? The CWU is a non profit organisation and get their money from the members who work for RM. If RM were destroyed, the CWU would lose 100 thousand plus members.

  • May
    4 years ago

    Jason, you are incorrect. I also work for RM. The most your pension would fall is 17% (anything “earned” up till now would not be touched) and in fact you may be better off. RM are not looking to change the working hours of existing employees, just make it an option for new staff joining in the future, who will be signing up to those from day 1. Your choice.

    • Jason Richards
      4 years ago

      17%??? As previously stated, you are very much mistaken. Details taken off my personal illustration:
      If I retire at 65

      before – £16,703
      Original DC – £8,126
      New proposal – £8,577

      That’s almost 50%. So RM thought that increasing the original proposal by £400 a year was going to swing by vote?? I think not, I’m still getting shafted by over £8,000 a year. Absolutely scandalous!!

  • Jason
    4 years ago

    I’m not incorrect, I’ve had the pension illustration example’s and on average members pensions will drop by 30%, mine drops to almost 50%.

    Also, we should be looking after the next generation of workers, not have the mindset of “I’m alright Jack” and accept the slow deterioration of the T&C’s.

    • Jenny
      4 years ago

      Jason – you won’t have seen the new illustration yet. They aren’t coming out until the end of this week

    • Pat
      4 years ago

      Keeping the current system will put Royal mail into deficit withing six years, and I personally don’t think it’s a case of not thinking about future generations of RM employees when the priority is for the organisation to still exist in ten years time.

      Unfortunately privatisation means attractive perks of the job will be brought into line with other private organisations. I understand the sock policy and pay stay the same and by comparison it still sounds like a great job.

      The worst outcome from strike : poor quality future talks with management, some customers stop using royal mail, royal mail suffers damage to its public image.

      The best outcome from trike : no change to pensions, poor quality future talks with management, some customers stop using royal mail, royal mail suffers damage to its public image.

    • Paul
      4 years ago

      Walking 10-12 miles a day sounds like a good job??? That’s whether your 18 or 60 years of age mind. Have a crack at it you need too. It’s not sustainable and to be then told you pension is gonna be robbed. Well that’s the last straw.

      I remember a Royal Marine doing our job for a tv programme. His words were “I wouldn’t want to do this everyday, it’s tough and not realistic”! That’s a three and half hour delivery span. We’re doing a four and half hour delivery span now. RM want 6+ hours

      As for RM being around in 10 years. Not in its current design. OFCOM will want it broken up like everything else that’s been privatised.

      There’s a lot more to this then is being said in this report also.

  • Gary
    4 years ago

    I have worked for RM for 31 years and i believe that going on strike in today’s climate would be suicidal. Having a reduction in our pensions will be the last of our concerns when loads of us are made redundant due to lost business.

    • Alan Paterson
      4 years ago

      I wish there were more postman like you Gary who saw the bigger picture.

      As a matter of principle, we have switched to Hermes.

    • Jason Richards
      4 years ago

      What office are you from Gary? Do your fellow workers who are set to lose thousands while RM fill the pockets of the share holders share your views?

    • Richard
      4 years ago

      The thing is Jason, is that the Posties and supporting operational staff make up the vast majority of Royal Mail.

      If Royal Mail loses a percentage of parcel volume permanently, then that’s an almost equivalent percentage of staff no longer needed, and operational staff will bear the brunt of those losses.

      Have they considered that fact?

  • James
    4 years ago

    Is there an alternative courier service for large letters?

    We send the majority of our items as large letters RM 24. Would be interested if anyone could recommend an alternative to RM LL 24 / 48 service.

    Thanks (also for any Royal Mail worker reading this – here is a perfect example of where you will lose business. I currently send 100% of my mail through Royal Mail and haven’t even bothered to look at alternatives. Now I will and strike or no strike I will be made aware of alternatives and you will lose business. Thousands more sellers will be doing exactly the same thing.)

    • CG
      4 years ago

      Ours are mainly the smaller items too so we’re in the same boat. Sick and tired of this union nonsense, would love to find an alternative.

  • john
    4 years ago

    more concerned about losing area allowance and door to door money ..roughly £60 a week

  • Clive Peasland
    4 years ago

    This site is awash with people whos only.concern is their ability to save or make money oon the back of their fellow mans misery! You all incapsulate what is wrong with society today….” I’m alright jack ” How much will my parcel cost here how much there, are you so limited in your lives, is this all that matters? ….We are fighting to keep a decent.service to the public at large here, not some ideological 1970s them and us battle to the [email protected]!! It is.Royal Mail that are.the destryers not us workers. What is so wrong with saying enough is enough. I totally.get that you dont want the disruption that industrial actipn will.cause, so why not rally round and question the motive.of the employer rather than the.easy target of those that try to.deliver a good stable and reliable SERVICE!!!

  • Alan Paterson
    4 years ago

    @Clive. You are an idiot. You understand nothing about self employment or economics (or evolution). It is because of people like you that the country is in its present economic situation. You are like the Neanderthal and in a generation your kind will be extinct.

  • Clive Peasland
    4 years ago

    You again….modern man….ill bet your nuckles are raw…all that scraping on the ground……..and just for the record it was bankers and their greed that caused the financial crash….not those that have little finance…….and id quite happily sit down with you and discuss economics ….provided you have progressed beyond the abacus and words of more than one syllable.

  • Rep in the north
    4 years ago

    It makes me laugh through gritted teeth at these people who think that using people as a expendable battery is an acceptable way to treat a workforce. If you think that the current model is working think again .We have a system since privatization that has run down the workforce to the point there is nobody left in many offices to deliver huge quantities of the mail. It gets left in cupboards or sits in containers for days on end as a result not fulfilling what the customer has in good faith paid for.
    On a technicality, a delivery cant fail if only one letter is delivered from a particular delivery.The company can put it down as a part failure and are not falling fully foul of the USO ,the obligation legally to the government to maintain level of service.

    Posties are leaving in ever increasing numbers and folk that come in are on reduced contracts but expected to ‘flex up’ way over contract time. Many leave within weeks perpetuating the resourcing crisis.
    We have managers then doing our work to fill the gaps.
    People are off work with stress due to the pressure on managers to bully people into working over contract.
    People cant get time off for special occasions. Weddings, medical appointments (illegal) etc because managers have no cover.
    Managers hate their job and are relying on the CWU reps to battle higher management in getting the resources for them to do their job correctly.
    The public haven’t got a bloody clue!
    We are trapped, as has been said in a race to the bottom where this is not capitalism but corporatism. It reflects the moraly bankrupt, greedy society we currently live in where rich shareholders exploit the population to breaking point.
    In other words a strike!
    See the reality for once.

  • Rep in West
    4 years ago

    Agree all your points Rep in North. I am Rep in West, we are united in our determination to defend what is right and just, hang your heads in shame on October 3rd Royal Mail managment, in particular middle managment whom have also rejected the same pension proposals that wr are being asked to cave into. They should be backing the workforce , but instead hide behind us the CWU, and hope we’ll bear the brunt of percieved public outrage that industrial action may cause. They are the sheep….NOT US.!!

    • mw
      4 years ago

      Whatever is negotiated from the Royal Mail will be fully passed on to the consumer plus a little extra to cover lost profits in price rises.

      Consumers will be paying for all striker demands.

      Those price rises will include the financial & conditions settlement (both short & long term ones), plus an allownace to make up for customers who left Royal Mail plus an allowance for predicted redundancies as a result of less business going through the Royal Mail plus any number of other things they can add on and legitimately blame the strike for.

      Directors are paid to protect shareholders interests. That is part of their job. Royal Mail empolyees were optioned with shares when it was privatised. They have voting rights if they kept the shares.

      If staff don’t like the terms and conditions….. Leave and go work for somebody else or start your own business….. there is always a choice and what’s more important afterall……… quality of life or the job?

      Consumers do not want to be paying for your negotiated pay rises by paying more for the same thing. Big contracts will shop around for stability in delivering to their customers, which a strike does not offer.

      Customers don’t care who delivers it. They only care it’s delivered.

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